The leadership of Nzuko Aro led by its President General, Mazi George Okoronkwo Ezuma (Ugwu Aro) on Friday the 24th of March, 2017, met with the management of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) at its corporate headquarters in Enugu.
The parley, which was facilitated by Dr. Nkemka Jombo-Ofo, enabled the union discuss some of the challenges affecting the community with the company. On hand to receive the team where its Managing Director, Srinivas Jayaraman, Prof Steve Dike, Director and Bolaji Solomon, Head Revenue Cycle Services.
In his opening remarks, Mazi George Ezuma gave a brief history of electricity in Arochukwu. He informed the EEDC officials that the light into Arochukwu was commissioned in 1982 through the efforts of prominent Umu Aro who worked tirelessly to attract a World Bank funding for the project in the 1970s with PCN as the contractor that handled the electrification project. Aro light, the PG continued, came through Itu and was later taken to supply neigbouring communities like Ihechiowa, Ututu, Ohafia and others. He went on to make three request from the company which are installation of pre-paid meters in Arochukwu; provision of additional transformers, conversion of the 11kv to 33kv and for the community not to be cut off from Itu line and transferred to Nkwu Egbu.
The Secretary General, Mazi Anicho Okoro, requested for the connection of the 132kva substation at Amuvi, which contract was undertaken and long completed by Chief Alfredo Awa and the issue of ‘crazy bills’.
Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Srinivas Jayaraman, thanked the team for finding time to visit and interface with his company and thereafter, responded to all the demands of the union. On the issue of the 132kva substation, Mr. Jay pointed out that it was not within the purview of the EEDC. The responsibility and project, he informed, belongs to the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and even the EEDC will be happy if the project is connected as it will help in the distribution of more energy to the consumers. On the issue of additional transformers, the MD informed that the installation of more transformers does not increase electricity supply. He described a transformer like a water pipe where different sources connect to the main source and thus too many connections on a particular pipe will slow down the force of the water. Too many transformers in most cases cause power to trip off.
He advised the union to leave the technical aspects to his company as it is their duty to sort them out. Mr Jay explained that source of Aro light which comes from Itu is not under the operation of EEDC and thus his company pays to the company in Port Harcourt each time power is supplied to Aro as the boundaries have been properly demarcated by TCN. He called on Nzuko Aro to help his company identify illegal users of electricity as this is the main cause of overbilling as the bill of such people is paid by the genuine customers. He requested that a three man committee by set by the union that will work closely with his company to solve most of the problems. He ended by asking the union to put in writing its demands.
On his part Prof. Steve Dike Director of the company urged consumers to be alert and request for the properly identification of its officers who approach them and report erring officers to them since we have now established a channel of communication with them. He informed that pre –paid meters are currently being installed and no money is charged by EEDC for this service.
The PG thanked them for informing and educating their guests, and requested for improved power supply to Arochukwu.